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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Science Expanded | 6 Ways of Knowing

6 Ways Of Knowing

The Supernatural (Divination, Revelation)
The Paranormal (Clairvoyance, Telepathy)
The Natural (Intuition, Reason) (1)

Supernatural Path Of Knowledge

Human beings gain knowledge through the help of some supernatural powers. This cognitive mode comprises Divination and Revelation (message revealed in dreams and visions).

These two cognitive modes are characterized by the intervention of supernatural beings (i.e., spirits, ancestors, dead relatives, Gods and Goddesses) who impart knowledge to humans directly (case of dream or vision) or indirectly through mediums, diviners, animals, extraordinary life events, or natural phenomena that require a special kind of interpretation.

Natural Path Of Knowledge

Knowledge is gained by using natural faculties or abilities. This cognitive mode comprises “Intuition” conceived of as the work of human heart (feeling and insight) and Reason, which consists of a natural investigation of reality through the natural power of human intellect and logical thought processes. Given that in Africa, intuition and reason are not mutually exclusive, “African rationality” has its peculiarity.

Paranormal Path Of Knowledge

Between these two poles (i.e., the natural and supernatural ways of knowing) stands a third category called extrasensory perception (ESP) or paranormal cognition, which includes such modes as clairvoyance and telepathy. But as the process of divination shows, African epistemology skillfully combines “logical-analytical” and “intuitive-synthetical” modes of thinking, whereas in the Western tradition these modes are rigidly separated. (2)


Most important, African epistemology integrates religious ways of knowing and the scientific and rational process in a world where there is no distinction between the sacred and the profane and where ultimately religion is an ally of science, rather than its opposite.

Since there are multiple ways of knowing, why do we limit ourselves to Reason/Intellect/Logic, I.e,, mind-centeredness? Why do we listen to people who do? Can someone be an expert who doesn't use all the ways of knowing to know what they claim to know? Why don't schools teach this way? What will we do now that we know there are more ways to know? Will our open-mindedness grow?


(1) Asante, Molefi Kete and Mazama, Ama Editors, “Encyclopedia Of African Religion,” (2009) pp. 242-244.) This article mostly quoted from this source. Certain portions paraphrased, shortened, and reformatted.

(2)Epistemology deals with questions such as, “How did the universe come into existence?” “Where do human beings come from?” “Does God exist?” “Is there life after death?” “How should one live in order to join the village of the ancestors?” “What does it mean to be a good human being?” These types of questions stand at the core of African religious worldview and suggest knowledge is an important component of religion. (Asante and Mazama, p. 242)

Worldview is a culture’s orientation toward God, humanity, birth, death, nature, questions of existence [religion], the universe, and cosmos” And history.

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